When your dog doesn't seem interested in eating his food, do you know what to do? When your dog vomits often, could there be something serious wrong with him? If he struggles to get up the stairs, does he need to see a vet? Having never owned an older dog, I knew nothing about the things that can begin to go wrong when dogs age. I adopted this guy when my neighbor moved into a nursing home and had to learn a lot about how to care for an older dog. My blog is filled with the many things that I have learned over the last year through the help of my vet.
You leave your home for a few hours. Your dog is in the house, but there's a doggy door leading to the backyard. It's the middle of summer, so you make sure there's plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink while you're gone.
When you return home, you realize that your dog somehow blocked the doggy door when it went outside and it's been stuck in the heat for hours. Now it's suffering from heat stroke. Don't panic. Here's what you need to do.
Check Its Temperature
The first thing you need to do is check your dog's temperature rectally. If the temperature is higher than 105 degrees, wrap your dog in a wet towel and get it to the animal hospital as quickly as possible. Temperatures over 105 degrees can be life-threatening for your dog. If the temperature is below 105 degrees, you can continue with the cooling process at home.
Cool It Down With Water
Your dog is going to need a cool bath. You can do this a couple of ways. If your dog is too large for the bathtub, you can use a garden hose to cool it down. Be sure your dog is in the shade so that it doesn't get any hotter.
If you use the tub, simply fill the tub with cool water and place your dog directly in the water. Don't let your dog lay down in the water, or it may breathe water in through its nose. Be sure to cool down your dog's hot spots, which include the armpits and groin area. Allow your dog to cool down for about 15 minutes before you take it out of the water.
Turn on the Fan
Once you've cooled your dog down with water, wrap it in a damp towel and lay it down in front of a fan. The fan will keep your pet's fur cool, which will help lower its temperature. This is a good time to check your dog's temperature again.
If the temperature has decreased, continue cooling your dog in front of the fan. However, if your dog's temperature is still elevated, contact a local animal hospital (such as My Rancho Bernardo Pet Hospital).
Offer Plenty of Water
Once your dog begins moving around again, be sure to offer it plenty of cool water. The heat has probably caused severe dehydration, which can cause additional health problems for your pet. If your dog refuses to drink the water, take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
If your pet is suffering from heat stroke, you need to act fast. These simple steps will help your pet recover quickly.